Chapter 1, Article 1: “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life...”
During these days, the attention of the general public is caught by a good number of talks and announcements of this and that well-known couple about their respective forthcoming marriage. And that is good news because a man and a woman have become convinced that instead of just being together as two individuals, they want to be “one” – in mind, body and spirit. It is timely wherefore though briefly to address such a delightful as well as trying human venture as marriage.
Written as an opening salvo of the Family Code of the Philippines in its very first Chapter as the latter's very first Article as well, is the above-cited signal provision on marriage which echoes not only Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution of the Philippines but also the key legislation of the Church Law in Canon 1055 par. 1. Considering not only the above noted marriage option signified by certain public figures but thinking as well of the forthcoming month of December - during which more couples get married than in the month of June as formerly noted – it appears timely to address the matter of marriage though briefly even if only for the purpose of recall to promote basically successful marital ventures.
In the above-cited salient provision of the Family Code of the Philippines, there are three key realities about marriage that are worth giving attention to – considering that a so-called “broken marriage” is one of the most bitter and devastating human experience specially as far as majority of Filipinos are concerned: One, that marriage is a “special contract”. Two, that marriage is between “ a man and a woman”. Three, that marriage is for the foundation of “conjugal and family life”. It is not only good but also practical to address the said three fundamental features of marriage – even though but briefly yet candidly.
Marriage is a “special contract” whereas it is over and above ordinary contracts such as in merely buying and selling, in simply borrowing and lending, and the like. The truth of the matter is that marriage is a Covenant – just as a blood compact between two individuals who thus become “one”. Not only unity but union, not simply companionship but communion, not merely now but for life – this is marriage. And woe to couples who think, believe, act otherwise. They lose. They are angry. They suffer.